Out and About

A Walk-in Catalog of Homes

The October 13 AIA tour is a chance to get the inside view of high-design homes from prefab to rehab, narrow house to tower house.

By Kristin Belz September 29, 2012 Published in the October 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

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The seven homes on this year’s AIA “Design Matters: Exceptional Homes Tour” tour October 13th present such a range of home types, they could make up a catalogue of prototypes for "how to build in Portland now." There’s the narrow house, the tower/twin house, the hillside tree house, the prefab, the rehab, and the live-above-the-store

The sites vary too, from tight urban infill to forested hill. Dao Architecture's 13-foot wide, 950 square foot Irvington mini takes the place of an old garage.  Deca's sleek CYRK building claims a busy corner in the Southeast Clinton neighborhood with an ultra-green, sustainably-built art-collecting family's penthouse (designed to be split into apartments at a later date) above retail and offices for the family business.  Skylab and HOMB's new prefab construction could fit on endless unknown future sites in countless configurations of its factory-made triangular module.

Most of the houses are newly constructed; two are renovated mid-century classics. Paul McKean completely reimagined the interior of a 1950 ranch house, now optimized for its south-facing Lake Oswego views. What was in 1958 the “Home of Tomorrow” – Donald Blair and William Fletcher's  over-the-top futuristic model home for the Wedgewood homebuilding company  – has been remodeled half a century later. 

The tour is put on by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects as part of its annual Architecture and Design Festival. Purchase tickets online here. Each of the seven homes will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday October 13, 2012.

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